Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Steps Forward

Have you ever taken a step backward with something and then wonder if you were ever going to take a step forward again? That has been my athletic life since my half iron man. I got so wrapped up in my MS, that I literally didn't think I would ever gain my athletic competence/confidence again.

If I am being totally honest, I literally gave up, took the back seat and became comfortable with the basic idea that I would do my half marathon every year and leave it at that. And then I made bigger plans by signing up for the Pedal to the Point MS ride and quickly came to the conclusion that I was officially nuts. I live with fatigue and exhaustion, so what business do I have signing up for a two day 150 mile bike ride? SERIOUSLY!!!

And then this weekend happened...

I met my running club out, and quite honestly wasn't looking too forward to our 9 mile run. It is a combination of a coach who runs way to fast and is unconcerned with the group, and wondering if I would ever be able to run 9 miles again. Bart Yasso was at our group run and gave me a little motivation by talking about the first time he showed up at the start line of Badwater having only run a marathon before doing this race. Hearing that made me think I needed to dig a little deeper, after all I have run a full marathon, so I had to be able to run 9 miles, right?

The run started cranky. I think I literally witched about things for the first three miles, at which point Sue pointed out how cranky I was. I decided to get a grip and quit my complaining. There were several awesome people in our group who decided to run with us for the entire run, even though they had 11 miles. They kept us going and soon I was smiling and laughing rather than fretting an frowning. 9 miles were down and I felt pretty amazing!!! I honestly haven't felt that good about a run in over a year.

Our uninteresting pre-ride photo.
Then came today. Sue and I were planning on a relaxing 20 mile bike ride today out near Springfield, Ohio. The true reason we were heading in that direction was because I love ice cream and was looking forward to a trip to Young's Dairy. That was motivation enough for me to get on my bike.

Anyway, we leisurely drove out to the trail, the whole time chattering away about life and I admitted to Sue that I was very nervous for this bike ride. We took our 'first ride of the season' picture and off we went, joking about how unexcited we both looked in the picture, but acknowledged that we would likely be exhilarated after the ride and would take a much better picture. We headed out and I quickly found my stride with riding. At about mile 9 I blew a flat and swapped out the tube, while snacking on a granola bar, and on we went. We stopped and had lunch and finished up our ride with about 25ish miles.

And how we felt post run, not scare, simply exhilarated...
I didn't immediately feel exhilarated, but I faked it and after eating ice cream and thinking about what we did this weekend, I really felt like a rock star. In all over 30 self propelled miles in two days. I honestly am perfectly fatigued and feeling extremely accomplished, and although the distances aren't exactly what we know we can do, this was a big weekend of two steps forward.

Thanks to Sue for putting up with my antics, because without her friendship and support, I might still be sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself...

Don't forget to donate to our bike ride if you are able, or simply send our team your well wishes. You can find all of the participants individual donation pages here, as many people are still trying to meet their $300 minimum donation: We're a Mess.

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